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Privately written 28 January 2020, but withheld from publication until today.

Dear LDS Church:

You got one of them already. You’re sure as hell not getting the other one.

“If you EVER do ANYTHING like unto that AGAIN,
you will lose your place in the Celestial Kingdom.
You will NEVER be with your family in the eternities.”

Bishop William Robinson of the Holt Ward,
Lansing Michigan Stake
said this in 2009 to the 12-year-old daughter
that we entrusted to him
to speak with alone*.

Mormon Victim-Blaming 101

When he first began grooming me, my ex-husband was 28 years older than I, married and a counselor in an LDS bishopric. After the divorce, he began to sexually groom our daughter during court-ordered visitations, with his advances growing increasingly alarming right in step with the speed of her puberty. There was nothing that the Court could or LDS church leadership would do about it. In fact, when we informed Bishop Robinson of our concerns, he laughed at us, and when my ex-husband attended the baptism of my son, those two got along buddy-buddy the whole time.

Despite all of this behavior toward her by her legal father, my young daughter had the courage to step forward and be the whistleblower regarding an inappropriate incident that occurred in the home of an LDS family where she had been a guest. As we understand it, Brother and Sister Coker put on a pornography video for my daughter to watch, expecting her to view it together with her friend, their daughter, a 12-year old girl in her LDS Beehive class. Their Coker’s two older teen sons were also present at this showing to which we obviously never gave prior consent. I guess the Cokers believed that the Mormon family that watches porn together stays together?

The Holt Michigan Ward included my extended in-law family. My brother-in-law was a counselor in the bishopric, and my daughter had two teen cousins – one just her age and another a few years older. My aging in-laws eventually became members of the Holt Ward, too, once pressure on my MIL from their daughters became too much. Yet in the Coker incident who did my husband’s own family side with? Not with us, but rather with the the offending Coker family and the rest of the ward who all seemed to take delicious, malicious joy in vilifying… gossiping… and completely rejecting my sweet, good, brave little girl. The persecution was so widespread, so serious that we began to be deeply concerned, then alarmed, for our daughter. Jeff did not tell me at that time that he had begun to fear that she was suicidal. We’ve learned only now, from her own confirmation, that he was right.

Hey Berry Street famfam: In January 2013 I saw that poem hanging on the wall of the basement. Maybe it was addressed to the cancer that took away your matriarch, but I was hit with the impression, like a punch in the gut, that it was about my daughter. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I could immediately guess who wrote it and her name begins with M. Those written sentiments oozed a poison enmity that shocked me. I had always felt that M viewed our pure-hearted child as the intruder who had destroyed her self-serving idyll, but there it was, in print, hanging there like an accomplishment to be shown off and to feel extremely proud of yourself for creating. I’ve never, EVER been able to understand how my BIL and SIL shrugged and supported their daughters in openly rejecting their cousins. Never. They were the popular girls, the leaders among the youth in the Holt Ward, and they certainly made things 100x tougher for our children. The non-blood-related ones. Since apparently that seems to be the most important thing to you.

Our oldest son was also mistreated by the Holt Ward bishopric in which his uncle served with Bill Robinson. I couldn’t believe he sided with Robinson on an accusation Robinson levied against my boy. To my BIL: I know my son wasn’t easy for you to love, but nobody calls my boy a liar to my face, or stands as perjured witness to an event that I know he didn’t even observe. Good job on that ass-kissing, though. It got you what you wanted, didn’t it?

The Holt Ward bishopric was a tightly run pack of wolves and we could see the future of the ward coming from a mile away. My brother-in-law eventually did succeed Bishop Robinson and became in every way the asshole leader that Robinson was. I COULD NOT ENDURE TO SUBMIT TO HAVING MY BROTHER-IN-LAW AS MY BISHOP. In Mormonism, because of our home-ownership within Holt Ward boundaries, we would have no choice but to remain in his jurisdiction. The 2009 Holt Ward Bishopric also included Allan Coker, the father present at the porn incident I mentioned. Coker was either an assistant ward clerk or executive secretary. I can’t remember. There will be more said about him later.

THE COKER INCIDENT and the subsequent further mistreatment of our daughter, which mistreatment was all endorsed and advanced by the powers of the Holt Ward Mormon patriarchy and my own Moore family is one of the MAIN REASONS we moved away from our entire family and from our entire social world of Michigan Mormons to spend our lives instead with strangers “Somewhere Far Far Away From the Midwest”. This pariah-making of our innocent and sincere-hearted girl was a GALLING second-generation repeat of my own negative experience with the Mormon church, where I had been a penitent and whistleblower. With “friends” like these, who needs enemies, right?! We’ve just been too polite and too concerned about preserving the remaining shreds of our family bonds to openly declare the full truth until now.

*We didn’t even know this bishopric interview mindfuck had been perpetrated on our daughter until she finally told us, over 6 years later. Bishop Robinson had chuckled to us softly beforehand that he would “put the fear of God unto her.” He LIED, to us and to her! What Robinson actually did was commit a very grave verbal, emotional, psychological, mental, spiritual, ecclesiastical and institutional abuse. It was a deep chasm of a wound which burned within as a daily plague and absolutely devastated the mental health of our daughter. Unbeknownst to us, she spent her teen years in morbid fear and guilt, for a nothing incident where SHE had been the further-victimized victim, thanks to the church. In NO WAY did Jeff or I give permission or consent to THIS, and I DO NOT FORGET SHIT LIKE THIS!!

Now you know the other reason I raged in an earlier blog post My Shelf Has Broken. It was there that I publicly lost my shit over the January 2018 brainwashing incident that occurred to this same daughter. It all went down while she was serving as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and it was perpetrated by the mission president and his wife at the mission home. This incident was a SECOND time that I only learned the full nature of the incident after the fact. This was the SECOND time that I could not protect my daughter from the abuse of authority which Latter-day Saints call “unrighteous dominion” based on D&C 121:33-46.

To A Certain Person, You Know Who You Are:

So next time you call, if it’s not to share and express love, please just don’t call. Because when it comes to such easily spouted verbal professions of love versus my own experiences in this family, I can only quote you. Yes, quote what you said today to the honest and sincere answer you were given: “I don’t believe it”. Well, Dorothy, I don’t believe you love me or my two children from my first marriage either. NO ONE in Jeff and my family should have to be defending ourselves for defending ourselves and our family against sexual predation and abuse. Mormon or not. Family or not.

Who’s the liar now?

The liar was not my daughter, never my daughter. But y’all revelation-soaked folks in the Holt Michigan Ward of the LDS church sure took Allan “SlapOnTheWrist” Coker‘s word over hers. (Should I also hold a picnic at your deathbed, as you all know so well how to do, to celebrate that fact?)

The more things change, the more they stay the same. There is little difference between the ignorant victim-blaming attitudes of the LDS Church of my personal experience in 1992 and my daughter’s experience of 2009 and the ignorance and victim-blaming STILL extant with the LDS Church leadership and membership of 2020. This legal case is very similar to mine, only it actually got prosecuted. The fact that the perp in that case got just 4 years?! It’s a  #SlapOnTheWrist just like so much else in our patriarchal system is… and the Mormon church likes it that way.

To Our Extended Family

A message to my family who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: Keep on believing the lie that the sex abuse problem in the LDS Church is not as gigantic, rampant, and systemic as that which rocks the Catholic Church. It is. (Why do you think the LDS Church and the Vatican are BFF buddies in blocking every piece of legislation which would help victims?) Yet because of blindly trusting members like you – and like we used to be – the institutional protection of bullies and predators within the church will continue on and never cease. Jeff and I have already decided that, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord and His little ones.

Beyond the coercion of the temple ceremony, which has always been absent of any actual informed consent, I NEVER raised my hand to the square in sustaining lawyers, law firms and victim-devastating legal machinations along Mormonism’s “covenant path”.

I never consented to prioritize protecting predators over protecting victims and survivors in a church that I never knew was founded by a lying, licentious, narcissitic, predatory con-artist swindler, counterfeiter… A man whose history has been whitewashed so thickly and so deeply as to appear to members as being second in virtue only to the life of Jesus Christ himself.

I never consented to follow a panel of General Authorities who were NOT made up of spiritually-sensitive yet bold truth-seekers but rather composed of a preponderance of attorneys and big businessmen. Seriously? In all the earth, these are the one most like the early Christian disciples? I’d commit the offense of angry, loud laughter here, only the bitterness chokes me instead.

Even from the beginning, on the day I received the endowment, I was shocked and confused that the penultimate covenant made in the LDS temple endowment ceremony is not made to Elohim. I had fully expected that my highest promise would be made to God the Father, that same deity whom Jesus worshipped. The highest covenant in the Mormon temple isn’t even made to that Mediator, either! NO.

To whom do we pledge our time, means, talents, and everything with which the Lord has blessed us, or with which he may bless? To an institution, an organization, the now corporate sole which is currently carrying the moniker of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This shocking truth never bothered you? Not even in the making of the covenant? Never?

So imagine how disturbing it is to realize that this entity standing shyly in the corner, trying to pass itself off as a blushing and harmless little child is a snarling, prowling, drooling, menacing, parasitic and cruel Balrog in legal battles? It is an enemy so virulent and terrible and unceasing (because of it’s unlimited funds) that in LDS-church related child sexual abuse battles, lawyers have come to call the Mormon church The Death Star and it’s prophet leader Darth Vadar. And you expect blue color-personality me, 98% blue color-personality me, to stay true to that?! I will not be shamed into serving this unmasked demon one second more.

Back when I was almost 8 years old, back when my parents and almost everyone else I knew had their hands on my back, steadily pushing me toward the baptismal font, what was it that all of you taught me? You taught me the nature of a covenant; that it is a two-way agreement in which both parties make a promise. If either side breaks the promise or promises falsely, that covenant is broken and void. I clearly understood what my agreement was and with whom I would be making the deal before my feet got wet.

I served in five LDS primary presidencies across 20 years. This is a bulletin board I created in 2000 based word-for-word on Sharing Time lessons
Second bulletin board in the Heavenly Father’s Promises At Baptism series
Third bulletin board in the Heavenly Father’s Promises At Baptism series

The only things I don’t recall being told is that I could back out of the deal after making it, but that if I did, the process to leave was much, much more difficult than getting the dunk. What I wouldn’t give now to tell children that if they ever chose to leave the cult, I mean, church, they will likely need to enter the legal realm. At the very least, they will be required to use a notary public to verify their signature. In other cases, such as with those on this continent who want their names truly removed from the rolls, the legal battle rages on. I would tell the children that they will be pressured to meet with church leadership if they ever try to leave the cult and given the impression that this meeting is mandatory when it absolutely isn’t. Finally, I would tell them the truth that unless they live in a country whose laws specifically forbid it, such as in Europe, even if their names are removed from ward and stake rosters, they will still be on the Mormon church’s rolls in Salt Lake. Because of this, they will STILL be counted as members until their 110th birthday. Then, once they’re dead, unless they can win the legal battle to stop it, the Mormon church can turn right around and baptize them a member all over again via temple proxy work.

Not Knowing Beforehand The Things Which I Should Do

Why is it that initiates to the Mormon temple rites are not given such clear and full information before they embark upon the fuller Covenant Path? All our lives, we young ones are taught that we will be making covenants with God. Then, with a mix of tender trust, excitement, awe and fear, we finally enter a Mormon temple only to discover that we are riding a swiftly tilting conveyor belt and headed, like livestock, straight for the jaws of an earthly tribunal of fallible men who are nevertheless held by believers to be infallible. Headed, like the soap-eating clones in Cloud Atlas, to be used and consumed at their will (Ezekiel 34). We are to bow our heads and pledge our lives away while being obediently, silently, submissively grateful for the opportunity to walk the Covenant Path of bondage to the church.

Your Eyes Will Be Opened And You Will Have Knowledge

When the fog clears, and the initiate is left in the aftermath to brood in the clear sunlight of sense, they realize that there is no clear and corresponding covenant to them made on the Church’s side. Everything in the temple is done in the name of God, but ultimately, You the Newbie have covenanted with an organization: the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. An organization, which as Promisee, has made no promise to you, the Beneficiary; an organization which makes a fantastic sales pitch in the pews in the name of The Big Guy but in actuality has no real power in it’s human-led but corporate condition to actually redeem, resurrect or exalt anybody. So why are the members binding ourselves to them? Mormon initiates never wake up to the realization that the idol to which they have solemnly vowed to give their souls is a Promisee which has put itself under no explicit obligation to protect its Beneficiaries. Listen closely to the words actually spoken. No promise is ever made. In fact, the covenant that is actually made on both sides by both parties is to protect this veiled, flesh-eating-monster of a “true church” AND THE CHURCH KEEPS THAT PROMISE TO BUILD UP, SUSTAIN AND DEFEND ITSELF TO THE VERY LETTER.

To quote from the LDS temple endowment ceremony, Then with that enmity [toward my servants]
I will take the treasures of the earth, and with gold and silver I will buy up armies [of attorneys]
and navies [of blindly obedient “church-broke” worker bees]: false priests who oppress, [yes], tyrants who destroy, and reign with blood and horror on the earth!

I know thee now. Thou art Lucifer.

Save her? From what? She became stronger than the monsters who made her this way. Now you want me to save her? Well, I can’t, no man can; she was forced to evolve into a different kind of woman. She adapted better than we ever thought she could. So don’t tell me to save her from shit. We made her this way so now we have to figure out how to love her this way… @joebrock_

Nein, meine Kinder geb’ ich nicht

Note: This essay may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This presentation is making such material available in an effort to advance understanding of religious issues. This essay presentation is a Creative Commons work – available for free in the public domain – of criticism, commentary, research and nonprofit education and thus constitutes a ‘Fair Use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided in the United States Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107.



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